06-12-20 CO Governor Polis Statement on Trump Administration Rollback of Civil Rights Protections in Health Care

Gov. Polis Statement on Trump Administration Rollback of Civil Rights Protections in Health Care

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis released the following statement after the Trump administration rolled back civil rights protections for transgender Americans in health care today.

“My administration is committed to building a Colorado for All where everyone can be proud of who they are, and no one faces discrimination for who they love or how they identify. We are in the midst of a global pandemic and this dangerous move could discourage Americans from seeking access to quality medical care or a COVID-19 test, which could increase the transmission of the virus or endanger the health of others. In Colorado, we are going to remain vigilant to safeguard the rights and protections we have fought so hard to gain. While the Trump administration wants to take our country backward and discriminate against transgender individuals for health care, Colorado law continues to protect Coloradans from such discrimination.”

More information and additional resources for Coloradans can be found here. Continue reading

06-12-20 CO Governor Polis Takes Action in Response to COVID-19

Governor Polis Takes Action in Response to COVID-19

DENVER – Gov. Polis signed Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 095 extending changes to the 2020 primary election to limit in-person contact while allowing the elections to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations.

The Governor also extended an Executive Order concerning the temporary suspension of open burning and extended an Executive Order expanding the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities.  Continue reading

06-12-20 CO Governor Polis, COVID Relief Fund Announce 5th Round of Grantees

Governor Polis, COVID Relief Fund Announce Fifth Round of Grants

DENVER – Gov. Polis and the Colorado COVID Relief Fund today announced the fifth round of grants awarded to organizations working with Coloradans impacted by COVID-19.

“We’re proud to continue supporting Coloradans and organizations who are focused on helping those who have been impacted by COVID-19,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Coloradans have done a great job of slowing the spread of the virus by wearing masks, washing their hands and staying home as much as possible, but the virus is still very much part of our communities. Coloradans have never shied away from a challenge, and I’m proud of the way so many people have stepped up during this challenging time to help others.”

In the fifth round, the COVID Relief Fund awarded $938,625 in Impact to 50 grantees and $1,323,922 in Recovery to 65 grantees for a total of $2,262,547 to 115 grantees. The Relief Fund has distributed $16.3 million to 765 grantees through five rounds. Continue reading

06-12-20 Pork Checkoff Weekly Update – June 12, 2020

Pork Checkoff Weekly Update – June 12, 2020

For this edition of the Pork Checkoff Weekly Update, National Pork Board CEO Bill Even shares how the Pork Checkoff is working to support America’s pig farmers in the month of June.

  1. Staying Focused on ASF — The National Pork Board remains focused on foreign animal disease prevention and preparedness. Learn how in this webinar.
  2. Producer COVID-19 Resources — New tools include S.M.A.R.T Farm Security Tips and COVID-19: Preparing and Responding to a Positive Case On Your Farm available at pork.org/covid-19.
  3. U.S. Pork Exports Remain Strong — U.S. pork exports remained strong through April, totaling 2.430 billion pounds valued at $2.912 billion.
  4. Thrive Innovation Series — The pork industry will be featured on June 25, sharing how we are adapting to supply chain disruptions. Register for the free webinar here.
  5. Showing We CareSM — To date, pork producers have donated more than 14 million servings to those in need. Visit porkcares.org to learn more or submit a story.

06-12-20 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Dicamba Plaintiffs’ Attack on EPA Order

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Dicamba Plaintiffs’ Attack on EPA Order

(Washington, D.C., June 12, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement on Secretary Perdue Statement on Dicamba Plaintiffs’ Attack on EPA Order:

“USDA supports the actions taken by the EPA to respond responsibly to the decision of the Ninth Circuit regarding Dicamba. At a time when the security of the food supply chain is paramount, the Center for Biological Diversity and its allies seek to cripple American farmers and further limit their ability to feed, fuel, and clothe this nation and the world. The Ninth Circuit should not allow plaintiffs’ hostility against the American farmer to cloud the fact that the EPA’s actions follow both legal precedent and common sense.”

Background:

Continue reading

06-12-20 USDA Secretary Perdue Announces Modernization Blueprint for the USDA Forest Service

USDA Secretary Perdue Announces Modernization Blueprint for the USDA Forest Service

(Washington, D.C., June 12, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued a memorandum to Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen providing direction that will serve as a blueprint to help modernize the agency’s systems and approaches to ensure national forests and grasslands continue to meet the needs of the American people.

“Under this administration, the Forest Service has sold more timber than we have in the last 22 years and made significant increases in our hazardous fuels treatments and active management of our national forests. While I am proud of our progress to promote active management, reduce hazardous fuels, work across boundaries and increase the resiliency of our nation’s forests and grasslands, I believe more can be done,” said Secretary Perdue. “Today, I am announcing a blueprint for reforms to provide further relief from burdensome regulations, improve customer service, and boost the productivity of our national forest system.”
The Secretary’s direction will encompass four areas of the agency’s work:

06-09-10 CO FARM BUREAU ACTION ALERT: Tell the House to VOTE NO on HB 20-1420

CO FARM BUREAU ACTION ALERT:

Tell the House to VOTE NO on HB 20-1420

HB20-1420 is one more crippling blow to an already suffering agriculture industry. This bill is an egregious overreach that removes important tax deductions from agricultural businesses that provide relief to farming and ranching families experiencing devastating losses, allowing those functioning on incredibly small margins to survive.

Farmers and ranchers shouldn’t have to take out loans to pay their taxes. 

Our state legislators NEED to hear from you. Click the link below and urge the House to VOTE NO on HB20-1420. You may add your own personal message and story in the box before you send.

This bill is moving quickly, please send your message ASAP and don’t stop thereCALL YOUR LEGISLATOR! Tell them enough is enough and they must stop hurting rural Colorado.

FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR HERE.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

06-12-20 Red Angus Association of America Unveils New Logo, Magazine Name

Red Angus Association of America Unveils New Logo, Magazine Name

DENVER, CO – June 12, 2020 – The Red Angus breed has grown rapidly over the past several decades, reaching many milestones in the beef industry including breed partnerships, industry-leading tagging programs and early adoption of Total Herd Reporting. In alignment with this progress, the Red Angus Association of America is proud to announce the launch of its new association logo as part of the growing presence of the Red Angus breed.

“A progressive logo speaks to the progressive nature of the Red Angus breed, which has always embraced forward thinking. The new logo also gives a nod to our roots through the use of a profiled cow head, similar in nature to the red bull head of the original logo. Our new branding reflects our presence in the beef industry and symbolizes our strength moving forward,” said Brandi Buzzard Frobose, RAAA director of communications. Continue reading

06-12-20 Family Farm Alliance: Irrigation Modernization Water Infrastructure for the 21st Century and Beyond

Family Farm Alliance: Irrigation Modernization Water Infrastructure for the 21st Century and Beyond

As Congress considers infrastructure legislation, it is important to realize that water infrastructure is imperative for securing our communities throughout the West. Aging agricultural infrastructure, an expanding population, persistent droughts, and declining fish populations are stressing scarce water resources. Farmers in the Western United State rely on irrigation to grow food. But the dams and canals that capture and convey this water from rivers to farms are inefficient, and, in many scenarios, farmers are not getting the water they need. Continue reading

05-18-20 FERC accepts Tri-State’s contract termination payment filing

FERC accepts Tri-State’s contract termination payment filing

(June 12, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) – Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted Tri-State’s contract termination payment filing and referred it to FERC’s hearing and settlement judge procedures.

Tri-State’s Chief Executive Officer Duane Highley made the following comments on FERC’s order:

“FERC’s acceptance of Tri-State’s contract termination payment filing is a decidedly
positive outcome and an important step forward for Tri-State’s members, each of which now has a voice and will be treated equally on wholesale contract and rate matters.

“We believe this issue is now properly before the appropriate regulatory commission.
FERC will make a decision that is just and reasonable for all of our members, including
those seeking to terminate their contracts. Our next step is to participate in FERC’s
settlement and hearing process. “Importantly, FERC rejected arguments that it did not have jurisdiction on contract
termination payments.

“Tri-State’s contract termination payment methodology was developed by a Contract
Committee of Tri-State’s utility membership, and then approved by Tri-State’s Board of Directors, in April 2020. The methodology determines a fair price for a member to
terminate its wholesale power contract with Tri-State without shifting costs from that
member or to that member.”

As a FERC-regulated utility, Tri-State is required to file the methodology for approval. Separately, on June 9, FERC approved the Delta-Montrose Electric Association withdrawal docket, which allows the cooperative to exit Tri-State, as planned, on June 30, 2020. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, June 12th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, June 12th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

China says New ASF Vaccine is Safe, So Far

A Chinese vaccine designed to combat the African Swine Fever virus is so far proving safe in clinical trials that are underway. The official Chinese news agency says that pushes hog farming a step closer to be able to prevent one of the world’s most devastating livestock diseases. A Reuters article says the development progress is being watched closely by pig farmers across the globe because there is currently no cure or vaccine to use against ASF. The disease kills virtually every animal it infects and has devastated China’s hog herds since it first showed up in 2018. The virus is still killing pigs in China and broke out in other spots across Asia since then. Chinese researchers at the Harvin Veterinary Research Institute, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, say they’ve developed a safe attenuated vaccine that has proven effective against the African Swine Fever virus during testing in laboratories. Clinical trials of the vaccine were given the go-ahead in March and have been underway on 3,000 pigs in three different locations in China, including the northeast, far west, and the central parts of the country.

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Farm Bureau says More Farmer Assistance is Necessary

The American Farm Bureau Federation is asking lawmakers to provide more critical resources to farmers hurt by COVID-19’s impact on the food system. They’re also looking for more help for rural communities struggling with the pandemic’s impacts. Many of the country’s struggling farmers were left out of the initial round of assistance, while some who did receive help are still being hurt by the impact of COVID-19. As Congress is set to consider additional aid this summer, Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall sent a letter to Congressional leadership listing the areas of need. “The economic losses across the U.S. ag sector are broad-based, directly impacting farmers and ranchers as well as their supply chain partners, from the input providers to end-users,” Duvall says in the letter. “Producers have witnessed their markets shrink overnight or even disappear, while supply chains have been stretched to the limit in response to COVID-19.” Some of the Farm Bureau’s priorities include extending relief funding for losses incurred after April 15, 2020. They’re asking Congress to replenish funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation to the tune of $68 billion. The Farm Bureau wants support for biofuel facilities, assistance for independent and contract poultry producers, as well as other requests.

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The U.S., U.K. Trade Talks Begin Next Week

The second round of trade talks between the United States and the United Kingdom begin on Monday. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is emphasizing his goal of reaching a comprehensive trade deal with the United Kingdom. Politico says that may have been to quell some nervousness in Congress that the U.S. Trade Rep might settle for a mini-deal, similar to the one struck last year with Japan. “We want to have a full-blown agreement with the U.K.,” Lighthizer said last week during a members-only event at the Economic Club of New York. “Right now, they have a very unbalanced trade relationship with the European Union, as we do, and this is an opportunity for each of us to sell more products to each other and possibly increase trade.” While he was emphasizing his desire for a full trade agreement, he put the brakes on the possibility of a quick agreement. “These things will take time,” he says, “both because they’re complicated but also because each of us has to wrap ourselves around the fact that there is going to be a compromise in reaching a major trade deal.”

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Tyson Foods Cooperating in U.S. Probe of Chicken Price Fixing

Tyson Foods, the top chicken producer in the U.S, is cooperating in a Justice Department price-fixing investigation. Tyson is doing so under a leniency program that will allow the company to avoid criminal prosecution in exchange for aiding in the continuing probe of other poultry producers. The Wall Street Journal says after receiving a grand-jury subpoena in April of last year, the company approached the Justice Department and disclosed its own actions while seeking leniency. Last week, the government indicted the CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride and three other poultry executives because of allegations of bid-rigging of broiler chickens sold to grocery chains and restaurants. “The behavior set out in the indictment does not reflect the values of Tyson Foods,” says CEO Noel White. “I am proud to lead a company that took appropriate and immediate actions in reporting the wrongdoing we discovered to the Department of Justice.” It was April of 2019 when the Department of Justice subpoenaed major chicken firms including Tyson, Pilgrim’s, Sanderson Farms, and Perdue Farms. The investigation followed a private antitrust suit brought in 2016 by chicken buyers seeking damages from major producers who allegedly conspired to raise prices.

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USDA Allows School to Serve Meals Free This Summer

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says schools that have been serving meals to kids during COVID-19 can continue serving free meals to all children, regardless of where they live, for the rest of the summer. “As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical that our children continue to receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food,” Perdue says. “We are extending one of the significant flexibilities provided in March during the coronavirus national emergency to schools, summer sites, and other folks who operate our programs so they can best adapt to the situation on the ground and serve our children well.” The Hagstrom Report says the flexibility will make sure kids continue to get fed throughout the summer. The nationwide waiver that was extended is for area eligibility, which allows all children in all areas to receive free meals through the USDA’s summer meals programs. Typically, USDA-funded summer meal sites are limited to children in low-income areas. The School Nutrition Association says this is great news, noting that many districts were facing the prospect of significantly reducing their service and reach over the summer because many of their feeding sites were in non-area-eligible communities.

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June WASDE/Crop Production Reports Released

The June World Ag Supply and Demand Estimate report says the 2020-2021 U.S. corn outlook hasn’t changed much from last month. Beginning stocks are higher, as a reduction in corn production for 2019-2020 is largely offset by a reduction in projected corn use for ethanol. Planted acres stayed at 97 million, projected corn yield is at 178.5 bushels per acre, and production is forecast at 15.9 billion bushels. Ending stocks are projected to be five million bushels higher at 3.3 billion bushels, with the season-average farm price at $3.20 per bushel. USDA says soybean production was left at 4.1 billion bushels, with a yield at 49.8 bushels per acre and planted acres at 83.5 million. New crop ending stocks were predicted at 395 million bushels, a lower-than-expected drop. The farm-gate new-crop soybean price was set at $8.20 per bushel. 2020-2021 wheat supplies are up on a larger crop and slight increase in beginning stocks. Total wheat production for 2020-21 is 1.877 million bushels, with total supplies up 16 million bushels to three billion. Ending stocks were raised 16 million bushels to 925 million, which is a six-year-low.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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